NPA’s Suzanne Anton details fiscal policies during campaign announcement

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      Non-Partisan Association mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton released some details of her party's fiscal platform today (September 27), including a pledge to return year-end surpluses to property taxpayers.

      Anton said she would distribute capital and operating surpluses to taxpayers by rolling surplus dollars into the next year’s budget revenues to offset increases in property taxes.

      "Current estimates at the end of the second quarter of 2011 project the City of Vancouver’s surpluses may exceed $7.5 million," said Anton. "These dollars should go back to you."

      Anton noted she’s determined to keep property tax increases at inflationary rates “or better”.

      The pledge was one of several fiscal and taxation commitments detailed by Anton today, which she said will be part of the municipal party’s campaign platform.

      The candidate also vowed to cut at least $1 million in what she called “ineffective” projects from the municipal budget. Among those cuts, she said, would be the city's water meter initiative.

      “Half a million dollars wasted on that program to foist unnecessary water metres on people’s houses,” she charged.

      The NPA will continue to campaign on their tax shift policy that redistributes a portion of Vancouver property taxes from business to residential property owners. The five-year policy, which was implemented by the previous NPA government in 2008, has been continued by Vision Vancouver.

      Anton also vowed to implement a cap on any future operating spending increases.

      “The projected spending increase for the current year from 2010 is over five percent,” she said. “These increases are not sustainable.”

      While Anton’s announcement took place at the foot of the separated Hornby Street bike lane downtown, she said removing the structure isn’t on her agenda. However, she vowed to “fix the things that drive people crazy" about the lanes.

      “There are some right-turn things that are proposed to be changed – those need to be fixed,” she said.

      “I don’t want to tear out a $3-million piece of infrastructure if I don’t have to - that’s why I’m determined to look at what the problems are, and see if those problems can be addressed."

      Anton, who voted in favour of the two-way bike lane when the project came before city council, said she objected to the construction process.

      “I believed it would be a good facility from what I heard that night, but when the shovels were out a few hours later, it was apparent that the whole process was a sham, so I was not going to be a booster of it after that,” she said.

      The NPA's full election platform will be released next month.




      Sep 27, 2011 at 5:17pm

      Make sure any cuts coming are on bike lanes in the downtown core, build them in Stanely Park then they can ride in circles, apply for drivers license to day. New freeways and roads needed, have not built one since 1950s and a freeway to bypass Vancouver!

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      @ suzanne

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:03pm

      Separated bike lanes are one of the best things that the City of Vancouver did this last four years.

      Many pedestrians are friendly to the cyclists and I've heard many speak to visiting friends with pride about the bike lanes as I cycle by them.

      I agree, there are a few issues with the bike lanes and maybe a cut in taxes for businesses who have a legitimate case to make against the bike lanes might be fair.

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      James G

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:10pm

      Bravo to cutting the city's water metre initiative! I hope the accounting includes costs for removal of existing metres and structures and for cancelling contracts with firms that provide this non-service to those in social housing.

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      james green

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:01am

      This is not fiscal policy it's political posturing.
      To deal with the city's fiscal house we must first and foremost cut waste at city hall by cutting senior staff salaries by 25%, getting rid of 10% of the planners and engineers, cutting the legal dept in half,cutting the millions we spend on consultants and studies, stop waste like $250,000 for the mayor's office, waste like $23,000,000 to buy the Vanoc building, sell the Olympic Village to a company who will turn it into a resort and $23,000,000 for bike lanes. We must begin to generate new revenues through our assets like the PNE and the civic theatres, and more. We must become more efficient and begin to run the city like a corporation.
      And we must put an end to spending we cannot afford. We must insist on business plans for city programs that spell out costs and impacts on tax payers and where tax payers can be harmed we must not proceed.
      We need sound financial management and an auditor to let the people know what is going on in this city fiscally.
      And we need to set spending priorities based on the needs of families and communities and not on the needs of a few politicians ie the mayor's trip to China foe $30,000 or his trip to New York for $30,000 or his website for $25,000 or his swearing in for $85,000 or VIP tickets for the Olympics for $340,000.

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      Stuart Mackinnon

      Sep 28, 2011 at 8:50am

      Perhaps some of any surplus could be put back to the Park Board to restore park maintenance.

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      Sep 28, 2011 at 11:05pm

      Suzanne seems to have a handle on good, solid pragmatic government. So much for those trying to paint her as a bike-hating right-winger. Isn't it time the stranglehold Anglo-Scottish men have on the mayor's chair in this city?

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